Parking: Creative approach meets small-minded resistance in Hutchins, Texas

| November 27, 2015

Parking advocate Hope Rivenburg argues that more fleets should invest in parking facilities in areas where their drivers are laid over. Some drivers argue for the same, extending their thoughts to other parties on both ends of any freight movement, namely shippers and receivers.

“When you load at a shipper or you unload at a receiver, and they take so long your day is up and you have to stay there, most of the time they don’t want you on their property and the street out front has no parking. If I go, I'm in violation... I think if these shippers and receivers and the cities they’re in are going to receive their freight or ship it out, they need to provide truck parking.” –Driver George Merrill of Golden Valley, Ariz.

“When you load at a shipper or you unload at a receiver, and they take so long your day is up and you have to stay there, most of the time they don’t want you on their property and the street out front has no parking. If I go, I’m in violation… I think if these shippers and receivers and the cities they’re in are going to receive their freight or ship it out, they need to provide truck parking.” –Driver George Merrill of Golden Valley, Ariz.

But investment could take many forms, from a fleet terminal location to shared, rental-type facilities such as that envisioned by Hutchins, Texas-based Redneck Diesel Performance. As previously reported, the custom truck service shop had been butting heads with the mayor and economic-development personnel over its plans to add secured truck parking at their facility in Hutchins, due south of Dallas along I-45, says Eric Pinola, in business development with the shop.

The prevailing sentiment outside of trucking? We want high-end retail. We’re not really looking for trucking at this time.

The shop, however, had its ducks in a row with plans to develop its 8-acre property to accommodate 100 trucks in a secure parking lot for a monthly fee. The development was the subject of an early-November Planning and Zoning hearing, one in a long line of conversations with the city that until recently yielded little in the way of significant progress on the parking plans.

The area is a hub of regional distribution center activity encouraged by city planning, Pinola says. As a result of the distribution centers, “the truckers are everywhere, parking everywhere” they can find a space, whether a legal one or a last resort, “and this city hates it. I thought the city would embrace” the diesel shop’s efforts.

Though the early-month meeting yielded the continuance recommendation the shop was looking for, more hearings were in the offing earlier this week. Going into the meeting this Monday, Pinola detailed to Overdrive growing contingency plans, as the shop essentially expected the worst. Needing a special-use permit to develop the site for parking, as of Monday Pinola said “I really don’t think Hutchins is going to play.”

Sites south of Hutchins in Wilmer, Texas, where the mayor and other representatives of the town have been much more receptive, are being investigated, as is a site at I-20 and Dowdy Ferry Rd. in Dallas.

“It’s amazing how naïve people are, the general public,” Rivenburg says. “That’s a huge problem. ‘Oh, I don’t want a truck stop in my town.’ Our stuff doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves.”

Hear more of Rivenburg’s views on parking and advocacy around it in this October podcast, and for video from the scene at the early-November hearing in Hutchins, a clear view of what some members of the general public think about trucking, follow this link.

'Do we need any more trucks in our community?'

‘Do we need any more trucks in our community?’

What happens when a service shop wants to put in secured truck parking on their property -- citizen backlash, citing "every kind of crime" trucks ...

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